If you’re like many business owners, you put so much of yourself into your own company and see little separation between it and you. But your personal wealth is a completely separate matter—and it needs attention, thought and expertise to keep you and your family safe and secure. Helium Advisors can help you think through the challenges business owners face. Like protecting your personal wealth from business risk. And thinking through all your options. Pass the business on? Recapitalize? Sell? We are here to help you make the most of your choice and simplify your personal financial life. Because running and growing a business is more than a full time job.
Protecting Personal Wealth
You’re deeply invested in your company. That means much of your personal wealth is too. Let’s talk about the ways you can protect your future and your family. Our strategies are informed by decades of helping other owners accomplish just that. And when we combine these insights with everything else we already do at the Helium Financial Group, we can build a plan for your complete picture. Your personal and family assets and your business. Because together, they help you live a good life now and in the future.
Mixing business with your personal portfolio
What does a personal investment plan for a business owner look like? At Helium Advisors, we think it’s essential to view your business as an asset—most likely, your largest asset—in your personal investment portfolio. With your company factored in, the right approach becomes clearer: Put your other assets into investments that don’t face the same risks.
Let’s look at an example to make this more tangible. The performance of U.S. home builders often moves in lock step with the national economy. So when we build a portfolio for a home builder, we might recommend putting very little into large housing and construction-focused domestic companies.
For all business owners, there are two natural marketplace extremes to consider. Recession and expansion. If the national economy experiences a recession, your business is more likely to be affected. On the other end of the spectrum, you might miss out on hot markets (unless your business happens to be in one of them). So, depending upon your goals and circumstances, we may recommend an investment strategy that addresses both conditions. Less risky investments to preserve capital during recessionary markets. And high growth-focused investments to take advantage of expansionary markets.
At some point, it might make sense to move some measure of your wealth out of your company. For example, if you need to increase investment in your complementary portfolio to get the right balance. There are ways to accomplish this without selling.
How much wealth you choose to move out of your business—and which complementary investments you decide to put it in—depends on your stage of life, goals and values, and appetite for risk. We’ll work closely with you to help determine the right mix for you.
Finding the Business - Life Balance
Every business owner has an optimal balance between concentration (personal investment in the business) and diversification (investing money you take out of the business to protect your personal wealth). We can help you find your balance.
A Business Succession Plan
Have you considered your business succession plan? Business founders often want their company to continue beyond their lifetimes, managed by their children and, possibly, future generations. Business succession planning can be a difficult process—raising issues that you’d probably rather avoid. But the strength and longevity of your business will be your reward. And we can help you put a plan in place, lending our expertise to help you identify, implement and adjust the strategies and techniques that might best serve you.
You’ve devoted years to building your company. When it’s time for your children or other family members, or even employees to take the reins, you’ll need to devote the same energy, thought and planning to a succession plan. Helium Advisors has years of experience advising family businesses. So, we can help you with succession, providing best practices and guidance for your unique circumstances.
Achieving a Successful Succession
Approaching succession with both eyes open can help prepare everyone involved. We can help foresee the risks, and build a plan to mitigate them.
We find that businesses are more likely to succeed into the second, third, fourth and even fifth generations when they have prepared for five key issues:
1. Sudden change in management
Your business needs a contingency plan. Reviewed and revised periodically. To account for sudden management changes. That includes:
- Articulating a clear vision.
- Defining all roles and responsibilities.
- Having structures in place to connect the family and the business.
- Allowing family members a dignified, properly compensated exit.
2. Orderly transition
You don’t expect to leave your business for another decade or longer? Now is still the time to plan for a smooth succession. This entails:
- Building a formal succession plan that covers the fundamentals.
- Creating legal documents that guarantee the succession plan.
- Formally training and integrating next-generation family into the business.
3. Estate taxes
The U.S. estate tax rate is 40% (as of 2023). Payment is usually due nine months after a person dies. This federal tax liability, often unanticipated, can put a tremendous burden on a family business. Liquidity (or lack there of) can be a huge challenge. Many families are forced to liquidate a business to pay the estate taxes due—often in a hurry, and realizing less than the business’s full value. Preparing now for this obligation can help reduce the strain on your family later. And help ensure your business’s survival and legacy.
One of the greatest threats to the owners of a family business is “concentration.” That is, tying up personal wealth in a business and subjecting it to the same risks. Moving some personal wealth from your business into complementary investments can safeguard against such economic vulnerability.
5. Family involvement
Successful family businesses anticipate tension and disagreements long before they happen. You can do so by being clear in your business objectives. Take steps to include other family members. The Helium Advisors team can help you create more effective family meetings and share strategies to open lines of communication.
What works for you and your family?
Every business owner, family, company and stage of life is different. But when it comes to succession planning, they all require the same things. Careful, thoughtful and expert attention. Help identifying and implementing the strategies that might best serve them. And an experienced and trusted partner to make it a smooth experience.
Helium Advisors offers you access to our specialists. Private business advisory. Fiduciary services. Investments. And more. Let us work with you and your legal, tax and business advisors to develop a succession plan. One that honors what you’ve built—and helps it thrive for generations to come. A legacy.
Selling Your Business
Contemplating what’s next for your company? In the near future—or someday down the road? Either way, there’s a lot to consider. Our team provides sound, unbiased guidance. Because we’re not compensated as part of the sale of a business, you can be confident our view is impartial and rooted only in your best interest. Let us help you determine your best exit strategy. And add valuable insight and advice at every step of the process.
Aren't sure how to start? Or do you already have an existing plan in place and just need a sounding board? Either way, we're here for you.
We can help you with:
- Market Analysis: Understanding the M&A environment and how market and industry conditions may affect your sale strategy.
- Deal Team Advice Coordination: Who you need on your team (lawyer, accountant, investment banker, etc.), what to look for in them, assembling a team, and coordinating advice in your best interest.
- Ideal buyer profiles: Which buyer(s) may be most advantageous for you to consider.
- Continuing Ties to the Business: How, if at all, you’ll need to be involved in the business after the sale.
- Understanding the Sale process: What your options are and which may align with your goals.
- Competitive Edge: Strategies for keeping an edge throughout the sale, to help yield the greatest value.
- Deal terms: How to reconcile and evaluate transaction deal terms.
At Helium Advisors, we see and evaluate many business transactions each year. Our team can give you a sense of what’s happening in the markets and what other business owners are experiencing.
Even if selling seems a distant possibility, it’s never too early to start pre-transaction planning. Getting a sound team and well thought-out plan in place is critical to getting the most from the company you’ve put so much into.